Member of the Week: Kristen Totleben

Kristen TotlebenKristen Totleben is Modern Languages and Cultures Librarian at the University of Rochester Rush Rhees Library in Rochester, NY. Kristen has been an ACRL member since 2011, is a 2012 ALA Emerging Leader,  and your ACRL member of the week.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Enthusiastic, curious, and persistent.

2. What are you reading right now? Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? by Johan Harstad; translated by Deborah Dawkin. I’m also revisting A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Informational, supportive, and inspiring.

4. Why do you value most about ACRL? The availability and variety of workshops and publications ACRL offers. They inform and provoke my thinking.  ACRL provides many opportunities to meet, learn from, and share experiences with other academic librarians.

5. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? The rewarding ability to actively contribute to faculty and student academic successes. I like to think  I’m empowering them in their research abilities. I also value the building and fostering of collaborative relationships between the library, the rest of the university, and surrounding community.

6. In your own words: As a subject librarian for Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Translation Studies, my day can encompass a manic variety of research content. One moment I might be researching Germany’s Weimar Republic, the next, China’s Silk Road. It’s fun, keeps me on my toes, and I’m always learning. Visiting classes, going to talks, and other ways of interacting with faculty and students gives me a snapshot of what their lives are like and the kinds of library services/resources they need. It’s a job of exploration and at times, going along for the ride.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.